Viburnum rhytidophyllum (leatherleaf viburnum) is a species of Viburnum, native to Asia.
This vigorous, coarsely textured evergreen shrub has an upright habit and 8-inch-long, lustrous, deeply veined oval leaves with dark blue-green surfaces and pale green undersides. The leaf stems are fuzzy brown. In spring, fragrant creamy-white flowers bloom in clusters. Blue berries form in June and become plump through September, maturing to glossy black. Plants grow 10-15 feet tall and wide.
The plant is an evergreen shrub or small tree with a suckering habit. The leaves are opposite, crinkled, downy on the underside, less so on the upper surface.
Cultivation and uses
It is commonly grown as an ornamental plant for its evergreen foliage and is tolerant of deep shade.
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Foliage may die back (sometimes to the ground) in sub-zero winter temperatures, so in the St. Louis area, it is best to plant this shrub in a protected location shielded from winter winds. If shrub loses good form or needs revitalization, prune to the ground. Otherwise, prune immediately after flowering since flower buds form in summer for the following year.
An evergreen shrub, commonly called leatherleaf virbunum, which can ultimately reach a height of 6-10'. Produces flat cymes of creamy white flowers in the spring and berries in early fall which first appear red and then change to a glossy black. Berries will often persist to the end of December. Ovate-oblong to ovate-lanceolate leaves are dark green, somewhat shiny and puckered. Foliage is evergreen in the South but at best semi-evergreen in the St. Louis area where it can suffer significant decline in winter.
No serious insect or disease problems.
Plant in groups or mix with other broadleaf shrubs. May be grown as a hedge. Shrub also has good specimen value due to creamy white flowers, fall/early winter berries and evergreen foliage.